Jamaica Observer: Climate Investment Funds Partnership Forum opens in MoBay

June 23, 2014

Jamaica Observer: Climate Investment Funds Partnership Forum opens in MoBay


MONTEGO BAY, St James — The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) Partnership Forum opened in Montego Bay on Monday with a profound local proverb taking centre stage.

In his best Jamaican accent, German national Hans Schulz said: “Every mickle mek a muckle”, making the point that in the fight against climate change having huge sums of money at one’s disposal wasn’t necessarily as important as recognising that every little contribution helps.

Schulz is the vice president for the private sector and non-guaranteed operations at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The IDB is co-hosting the partnership forum with CIF.

Also addressing the opening was Jamaica’s junior environment minister Ian Hayles who himself reiterated that partnerships between civil society, the private sector and government was critical to mitigating and coping with the effects of a climate that is getting warmer as the decades go by.

The Partnership Forum is a coming together of donor and beneficiary countries of the CIF, which was established in 2008 to mobilise financing to manage climate change programmes across the world. The aim, it says, is to build partnerships for low carbon, climate resilient development.

Kimone Thompson

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Blog: What is the World Cup’s Carbon Footprint?

June 20, 2014

Blog: What is the World Cup’s Carbon Footprint?

By Duncan Gromko

When Arjen Robben scored Holland’s fifth goal against Spain, the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, was overflowing with emotion. The Dutch ecstatic, the Spanish devastated, and neutral fans like myself thrilled just to see such an exciting game.  After watching the Netherlands team take a well-deserved victory lap, we poured out of the stadium into Salvador’s streets, singing until our throats were hoarse.

The opportunity to watch the World Cup in Brazil has been an unforgettable experience. In addition to the games themselves, I’ve also been able to explore Salvador and soak in all its sights and sounds. What an amazing city! While there have been riots in other cities, the locals I’ve spoken to have been extremely welcoming to the hundreds of thousands of foreigners visiting for the World Cup. With everyone wearing their national team’s jerseys – the red of Spain and Switzerland, bright Australian yellow, blazing orange for Holland – it feels like a global party.

All the different jerseys and languages got me thinking: how much energy did it take for all these people to come Brazil? An estimated 500,000 people will travel to Brazil for the World Cup, flying and driving from thousands of miles away. Personally, I flew from Washington, DC, to Miami to Sao Paulo to Salvador; the round trip will be over 12,000 miles. Given that each passenger mile flown results in about 0.5 pounds of CO2 emitted, I’m personally responsible for 2.9 tons of greenhouse gas emissions! And that leaves out any extra food I eat, the taxis I take, air-conditioning I cool off in, among other impacts. All told, the World Cup will result in about 2.7 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions – equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 500,000 cars.

Recognizing this impact, FIFA has done a thorough breakdown of the direct and indirect emissions related to the World Cup. The estimate leaves out some related emissions, such as construction of stadia and other infrastructure for the World Cup but attempts to capture the impact from most other sources. The most remarkable part of the study is that 97.9% of the 2.7 million tons come from fans’ travel. [...]

Blog: And the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Winner is…Sustainable Business

June 12, 2014

And the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Winner is… Sustainable Business

By Cassia Peralta

The FIFA 2014 World Cup Brazil opens today, and with it comes a lot of controversy regarding investments and their societal trade-offs – especially given almost 22% of the Brazilian population still live at the base of the pyramid, on less than US$2.50 a day. Nonetheless, this year, the FIFA Brazil World Cup is thought to be a milestone in terms of sustainable business practices. Below we explore 3 initiatives that can allow small companies to generate new businesses and thrive in the long term [...]

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BNAmericas: IDB Expects Growth in PPPs in Water Sector

June 3, 2014

IDB expects growth in PPPs in water sector

By Rebecca Conan

Private sector involvement and PPPs in the water and waste sector are expected to grow across Latin America in the coming years, the IDB told BNamericas.

“We do expect to see more growth in the sanitation and water sector over the next few years with maybe more growth in the waste management side rather than the water sector,” said Ana María Vidaurre, a structured and corporate finance principal specialist with the IDB.

The IDB recently announced the winners of its inaugural Infrastructure 360° Awards that recognize sustainable infrastructure projects in Latin America. Just one of the award’s 12 finalists was in the water and waste sector.

“We saw less in the water and sanitation sector as there are fewer concessions being run by private companies than there were in, say, the early 90s,” said Vidaurre.

The US$192mn La Chira wastewater treatment plant in Chorillos, Peru, was the only water project to be shortlisted. The plant, being developed by Spanish company Acciona Aguas and Peruvian company Graña & Montero, will have a capacity of 6.3m3/s to treat and dispose of wastewater in the south of Lima.

Winners include the Los Cocos wind farm project in the Dominican Republic, the Aura Solar project in Mexico and Peru’s Metro Lima Line 1. [...]

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Combining cattle production with forestry activities -- silvopastoralism -- is another solution.

Blog: How to lose weight, feed 9 billion people and save the planet?

June 2, 2014

How to lose weight, feed 9 billion people and save the planet?

By Katalin Solymosi

Sustainable consumption as business opportunity

Eat less meat! The BBQ fans out there don’t have to go cold turkey. The point is eating more vegetables, buying local, nutritious food whenever possible and minimizing waste by purchasing food with less packaging and in reasonable portion sizes can benefit your waistline and the environment. Conscious consumer choices and scarce natural resources incentivize agribusinesses in Latin America to produce more with less. From Brazilian cattle ranchers investing in pasture upgrades instead of deforesting to Nestlé reducing water usage in its Mexican value chain, the food industry has discovered healthy, sustainable consumption as a business opportunity.

The world population is expected to reach more than 9 billion by 2050 and we all need to eat. Our food choices have a wide ranging impact not only on our health, but also the environment. Different foods use different amounts of water, land, nutrients and fossil fuels to get them from farm to table. It turns out that the goodies best for us – all those greens and grains – are also the ones with the lowest impact on the environment. A tomato needs 13 liters of water to ripen; a potato needs 25, an apple 70. You think that’s a lot? Then consider the 2,400 litersthat are needed to produce a hamburger. In general, the foods that raise cholesterol and hurt beach bodies also cause greater resource depletion and greenhouse gas emissions: the carbon footprint of an average meat lover’s diet is twice as much as a vegetarian’s.

The footprint of our diet is the combined impact that a steak or a liter of milk has on our environment. The smaller this footprint the better, especially since in Latin America and the Caribbean alone, 360 million people are moving out of the Base of the Pyramid and [....]

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LaInternacional-Vicunha Ecuador

Power to Expand

June 1, 2014

Power to Expand


Access to reliable and sustainable sources of energy is vital for any manufacturer trying to compete in a global world. For Vicunha Ecuador S.A., one of the country’s oldest textile manufacturers, that has meant investing in renewable energy to support its expansion plan.

With financing and technical assistance provided by the IDB in 2007, the denim manufacturer acquired a new turbine for its small run-of-river hydropower plant located on the Guayllabamba River. Run-of-river plants harness the power of water flowing into a river or a stream to produce electricity by diverting the river flow and returning the water downstream without the need for large reservoirs, which minimizes their impact on the environment. Today the plant supplies 88 percent of the company’s electricity, resulting in a reduction of 12,920 metric tons a year of carbon emissions.

The IDB loan was also used to add new denim production lines, modernize spinning mills and other equipment, purchase new weaving machinery, and improve utility connections. The upgrades led to a 60 percent increase in production and the creation of 168 jobs, more than the 120 initially envisioned by the project.

The investments also enabled the 90-year old firm, formerly known as La Internacional, to improve energy efficiency by [...]

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